backpacking boots reviews

Scarpa Mescalito hiking shoes.

Review: Scarpa Mescalito Hiking Shoes

Hiking/Approach Shoes Scarpa Mescalito $169, 1 lb. 13 oz. (men’s US 9/Euro 42) Sizes: men’s US 7-14/Euro 40-48, women’s US 5-10/Euro 36-42 rei.com Sometimes a piece of gear seems better every time you use it. That’s what happened to me with these low-cut hiking shoes. From dayhikes on the slickrock and sandy trails of Zion to the packed dirt and …

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Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof boots

Review: Oboz Bridger Mid and Low Waterproof Boots and Shoes

Hiking and Backpacking Boots Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof $180, 2 lbs. 6 oz. (men’s size 9) Sizes: men’s 7-15, women’s 6-11 backcountry.com Hiking and Backpacking Shoes Oboz Bridger Low Waterproof $140, 2 lbs. 3 oz. (men’s size 9) Sizes: men’s 8-14, women’s 6-11 backcountry.com As someone who makes his living walking on- and off-trail a lot, I’m very selective about …

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Oboz Sawtooth II Low Waterproof hiking shoes.

Gear Review: Oboz Sawtooth II Low Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Hiking Shoes
Oboz Sawtooth II Low Waterproof
$140, 2 lbs. 4 oz. (men’s size 9)
Sizes: men’s 8-14, women’s 6-11
backcountry.com

All through the second day of a five-day trek in northern Spain’s Picos de Europa Mountains, we hiked through steady rain and, higher up, wet snow that accumulated several inches deep on the ground. It felt more like Scotland’s Northern Highlands than mountains in the north of Spain. Throughout that day and the entire trip, these shoes mostly delivered the kind of support and performance I expect from much pricier boots—but did have a couple of minor shortcomings. 

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Arc’teryx Aerios FL Mid GTX hiking shoes.

Gear Review: Arc’teryx Aerios FL Mid GTX Hiking Shoes

Hiking and Backpacking Shoes Arc’teryx Aerios FL Mid GTX $185, 1 lb. 11 oz. (US men’s 9) Sizes: men’s 7-13, women’s 5-10 rei.com The trend toward lighter footwear for hiking and backpacking has generally improved the offerings available—but has also produced a lot of shoes that, frankly, lack the support and cushion for rugged dayhiking or lightweight backpacking. Curious to …

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The North Face Safien GTX hiking shoes.

Gear Review: The North Face Safien GTX Hiking Shoes

Hiking Shoes
The North Face Safien GTX
$140, 1 lb. 10 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s 5-11
Moosejaw.com

Few outings test the comfort and support of hiking shoes like a rim-to-rim dayhike across the Grand Canyon. So to take the full measure of the purported extra cushioning in The North Face Safien GTX shoes, I hiked them across the Big Ditch and back again over two days—a total of 42 miles and about 22,000 vertical feet of serious pounding on consecutive days—and finished feeling no small measure of relief that these shoes really are as cushy as TNF claims. They also have other strengths as well as some minor weaknesses.

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